5 Benefits of Infant Massage You May Not Have Known

Written 8/1/17 and published 8/4/17 in Institute for Integrative Healthcare’s journal, Leslie DeMatteo, LMT, MS’s article was great and answered the question, “Is massage therapy just as effective for infants and children in decreasing stress and anxiety, decreasing muscle tension and pain, and increasing feelings of well-being?” with a resounding YES! These were the findings: 1. One of the most significant benefits for infants is improved sleep. Babies who received massage demonstrated improved sleep patterns, falling asleep more easily, and staying asleep longer. They’ve also shown increased alertness and activity during the day resulting from improved sleep. 2. Decreased stress behaviors have been noted in infants and young children who receive massage therapy, and studies have shown that cortisol, a major hormone produced when we experience stress and causes body-wide inflammation, levels were lower after massage therapy. 3. Infant massage has been shown to improve motor development, especially in premature infants and those with developmental problems. Increased responsiveness was also noted. 4. Infants in NICU who received massage therapy showed 21% more weight gain and were discharged an average of 5 days earlier than those who did not. 5. When infant massage is performed by parents, there’s improved interaction and bonding. Babies greet parents with more eye contact, smiling, and vocalizing and reaching responses; they are also more expressive!

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